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Encyclopedia > United States Tax Court
Seal of the United States Tax Court.
Seal of the United States Tax Court.

The United States Tax Court is a special court created by the U.S. Congress to adjudicate disputes over certain U.S. tax deficiencies. This court is technically an administrative court, and as a result the judges are appointed for a term of 15 years[1], instead of for life. Each regular judge is appointed by the President. Because it does not meet the strictures of a court created under Article Three of the United States Constitution, decisions of the tax court may automatically be reviewed by the applicable United States Court of Appeals[2]. (See Article I and Article III tribunals). Image File history File links Tax_court. ... Image File history File links Tax_court. ... Seal on envelope A seal is an impression printed on, embossed upon, or affixed to a document (or any other object) in order to authenticate it, in lieu of or in addition to a signature. ... The Congress of the United States is the legislative branch of the federal government of the United States of America. ... Taxation in the United States is a complex system which may involve payment to at least four different levels of government. ... Greece, as a civil law country has administrative courts. ... Article Three of the United States Constitution establishes the judicial branch of the federal government. ... The United States courts of appeals (or circuit courts) are the mid-level appellate courts of the United States federal court system. ... In the United States, federal courts or tribunals can be classified as either Article I tribunals or Article III tribunals. ...


Though taxpayers may choose to litigate tax matters in a variety of legal settings, the Tax Court is the only forum in which taxpayers outside of bankruptcy may do so without having first paid the disputed tax. Parties who contest the imposition of a tax may also bring an action in any United States District Court, or in the United States Court of Federal Claims; however these venues require that the tax be paid first, and that the party then file a lawsuit to recover the contested amount paid (the "full payment rule" of Flora v. United States[3]). A lawsuit is a civil action brought before a court in order to recover a right, obtain damages for an injury, obtain an injunction to prevent an injury, or obtain a declaratory judgment to prevent future legal disputes. ... Notice of closure stuck on the door of a computer store the day after its parent company, Granville Technology Group Ltd, declared bankruptcy (strictly, put into administration - see text) in the UK. Bankruptcy is a legally declared inability or impairment of ability of a individuals or organizations to pay their... Map of the boundaries of the United States Courts of Appeals and United States District Courts The United States district courts are the general trial courts of the United States federal court system. ... The United States Court of Federal Claims is a special court created on October 1, 1982 by the U.S. Congress and headquartered in Washington, D.C.. By federal law, claims brought against the United States must be brought in this court; however, as this court is established under Article... It has been suggested that civil trial be merged into this article or section. ...

Contents

The Court and Its Jurisdiction

The U.S. Tax Court is a Federal court of record established by Congress under Article I of the Constitution of the United States.[4] Congress created the Tax Court to provide a judicial forum in which affected persons could dispute tax deficiencies determined by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue prior to payment of the disputed amounts. The jurisdiction of the Tax Court includes the authority to hear tax disputes concerning notices of deficiency, notices of transferee liability, certain types of declaratory judgment, readjustment and adjustment of partnership items, review of the failure to abate interest, administrative costs, worker classification, relief from joint and several liability on a joint return, and review of certain collection actions. The Commissioner of Internal Revenue, or IRS Commissioner, is the head of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. ... In law, jurisdiction (from the Latin ius, iuris meaning law and dicere meaning to speak) is the practical authority granted to a formally constituted legal body or to a political leader to deal with and make pronouncements on legal matters and, by implication, to administer justice within a defined area... A declaratory judgment is a judgment of a court which declares what rights each party in a dispute should have, but does not order any action or result in any legal damages. ... A partnership is a type of business entity in which partners share with each other the profits or losses of the business undertaking in which all have invested. ... Joint and several liability is a common law rule of liability, whereby a plaintiff may recover the entirety of the damages from any of negligent defendants independent of their individual share of the liability. ...


Judges

The Tax Court is composed of 19 members appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.[5] Trial sessions are conducted and other work of the Court is performed by those judges, by senior judges serving on recall, and by special trial judges. All of the judges have expertise in the tax laws, and the Tax Court asserts that they "apply that expertise in a manner to ensure that taxpayers are assessed only what they owe, and no more". Although the "principal office" of the Court is located in the District of Columbia, Tax Court judges may sit "at any place within the United States".[6] The judges travel nationwide to conduct trials in various designated cities. In 2005, stops in Miami and New Orleans were cancelled due to the effects of hurricanes which had struck shortly before their scheduled visit to each city. The presidential seal was first used by President Hayes in 1880 and last modified in 1959 by adding the 50th star for Hawaii. ... Seal of the U.S. Senate Federal courts Supreme Court Chief Justice Associate Justices Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures State Courts Counties, Cities, and Towns Other countries Politics Portal      Senate composition following 2006 elections The United States Senate is... ...

Senior Judges John O. Colvin (born Ohio, 1946) is the Chief Judge of the United States Tax Court. ... Carolyn P. Chiechi (born New Jersey, 1943) is a judge on the United States Tax Court. ... Mary Ann Cohen (born New Mexico, 16 July 1943) is a judge of the United States Tax Court. ... Maurice B. Foley (born 1960 in Illinois) is a judge of the United States Tax Court. ... Joseph H. Gale (born Virginia, 1953) is a judge of the United States Tax Court. ... Joseph Robert Goeke (born Kentucky, 1950) is a judge of the United States Tax Court. ... Harry Allen Haines (born Montana, 1939) is a judge of the United States Tax Court Haines earned his B.A. at St. ... James S. Halpern (born New York, 1945) is a judge of the United States Tax Court. ... Mark V. Holmes (born New York, 1960) is a judge of the United States Tax Court. ... Diane L. Kroupa (born South Dakota, 1955) is a judge of the United States Tax Court. ... David Laro (born Michigan, 1942) is a judge of the United States Tax Court. ... L. Paige Marvel (born Maryland, 1949) is a judge of the United States Tax Court. ... Stephen J. Swift (born Utah, 1943) is a judge of the United States Tax Court. ... Michael B. Thornton (born Mississippi, 1954) is a judge of the United States Tax Court. ... Juan F. Vasquez (born Texas, 1948) is a judge of the United States Tax Court. ... Thomas B. Wells (born Ohio, 1945) is a judge of the United States Tax Court. ... Robert A. Wherry Jr. ...

Special Trial Judges Renato Beghe (b. ... Herbert L. Chabot (born New York, 1931) is a senior judge of the United States Tax Court. ... Howard A. Dawson, Jr. ... Joel Gerber (born Illinois, 1940) was the Chief Judge of the United States Tax Court. ... Julian I. Jacobs (born Maryland, 1937) is a senior judge of the United States Tax Court. ... Arthur L. Nims, III (born Oklahoma, 1923) is a senior judge of the United States Tax Court. ... Robert Paul Ruwe (born Ohio, 1941) is a senior judge of the United States Tax Court. ... Laurence J. Whalen (born Pennsylvania, 1944) is a senior judge of the United States Tax Court. ...


Peter J. Panuthos (born New York, 1943) is a special trial judge of the United States Tax Court. ... Robert N. Armen, Jr. ... Lewis R. Carluzzo (born New Jersey, 1949) is a special trial judge of the United States Tax Court. ... D. Irvin Couvillion (born Louisiana, 1934) is a special trial judge of the United States Tax Court. ... John F. Dean (born Washington D.C., 1946) is a special trial judge of the United States Tax Court. ... Stanley J. Goldberg (born Maryland, 1939) is a special trial judge of the United States Tax Court. ... Carleton D. Powell (1939–) is a special trial judge of the United States Tax Court. ...

Representation of parties

The United States government is represented in the Tax Court by the Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or his delegate.[7] Seal of the Internal Revenue Service The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the United States government agency that collects taxes and enforces the internal revenue laws. ...


The Tax Court is unusual in that a person who is not an Attorney at Law may be admitted to practice to represent taxpayers by applying for admission and passing an examination administered by the Court. Attorneys are admitted to the bar of the Court without being required to sit for the Tax Court examination. Tax Court practice is highly specialized and most practitioners are licensed as attorneys. For information on the type of fish called Lawyer, see the article on Burbot. ...


Genesis of a Tax Court dispute

Many Tax Court cases involve disputes over Federal income tax, often after an examination by the Internal Revenue Service of a taxpayer's return. After issuance of a series of preliminary written notices and a lack of agreement between the taxpayer and the IRS, the IRS formally "determines" the amount of the "deficiency" and issues a formal notice called a "statutory notice of deficiency," or "ninety day letter".[8]In this context, the term "deficiency" is a legal term of art, and is not necessarily equal to the amount of unpaid tax (although it usually is). The deficiency is generally the excess of the amount the IRS contends is the correct tax over the amount the taxpayer showed on the return -- in both cases, without regard to how much has actually been paid.[9]


Upon issuance of the statutory notice of deficiency (after IRS determination of the tax amount, but before the formal IRS assessment of the tax), the taxpayer generally has 90 days to file a Tax Court petition for "redetermination of the deficiency"[10] If no petition is timely filed, the IRS may then statutorily "assess" the tax. To "assess" the tax in this sense means to administratively and formally record the tax on the books of the United States Department of the Treasury.[11] This formal statutory assessment is a critical act, as the statutory tax lien that later arises is effective retroactively to the date of the assessment, and encumbers all property and rights to property of the taxpayer.[12] The U.S. Treasury building today. ...


Life cycle of a Tax Court case

Because of the negative legal consequences ensuing with respect to a statutory assessment (especially the tax lien and the Flora requirement that the taxpayer otherwise pay the full disputed amount and sue for refund), a taxpayer is often well advised to timely file a Tax Court petition.


The rule in the Tax Court is that the taxpayer sues the "Commissioner of Internal Revenue," with the taxpayer as "petitioner" and the Commissioner as "respondent." This rule is an example of an exception to the general rule that the proper party defendant in a U.S. tax case filed by a taxpayer against the government is "United States of America." In the Tax Court, the Commissioner is not named personally. The "Secretary of the Treasury," the "Department of the Treasury" and the "Internal Revenue Service" are not proper parties.


The petition must be timely filed within the allowable time. The Court cannot extend the time for filing which is set by statute.


A $60 filing fee must be paid when the petition is filed. Once the petition is filed, payment of the underlying tax ordinarily is postponed until the case has been decided.


In certain tax disputes involving $50,000 or less, taxpayers may elect to have their case conducted under the Court's simplified small tax case procedure.[13] Trials in small tax cases generally are less formal and result in a speedier disposition. However, decisions entered pursuant to small tax case procedures are not appealable and may not be cited as precedent.


Cases are calendared for trial as soon as practicable (on a first in/first out basis) after the case becomes at issue. When a case is calendared, the parties are notified by the Court of the date, time, and place of trial. Trials are conducted before one judge, without a jury, and taxpayers are permitted to represent themselves if they desire.


The vast majority of cases are settled by mutual agreement without the necessity of a trial. However, if a trial is conducted, in due course a report is ordinarily issued by the presiding judge setting forth findings of fact and an opinion. The case is then closed in accordance with the judge's opinion by entry of a decision.


Notes

Some information on this page is from the web site of the U.S. Tax Court, which, as a publication of the United States government, is in the public domain. The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ...


References

  1. ^ See 26 U.S.C. § 7443(e).
  2. ^ See 26 U.S.C. § 7482(a)(1).
  3. ^ 357 U.S. 63 (1958), aff'd on reh'g, 362 U.S. 145 (1960).
  4. ^ See 26 U.S.C. § 7441.
  5. ^ See generally 26 U.S.C. § 7443(a) and (b).
  6. ^ See 26 U.S.C. § 7445.
  7. ^ 26 U.S.C. § 7452. Although, as explained below, the "Commissioner of Internal Revenue" is the proper party to be sued in Tax Court, the statute actually states that the "Secretary" is represented by the IRS Chief Counsel (or delegate). However, the term "Secretary" is defined in 26 U.S.C. § 7701(a)(11)(B) as the "Secretary of the Treasury or his delegate." Further, the term "or his delegate" is defined (in this context) at 26 U.S.C. § 7701(a)(12)(A)(i) as "any officer, employee or agency of the Treasury Department duly authorized by the Secretary of the Treasury directly, or indirectly by one or more redelegations of authority [ . . . . ]"
  8. ^ See generally 26 U.S.C. § 6212.
  9. ^ See generally 26 U.S.C. § 6211
  10. ^ See generally 26 U.S.C. § 6213.
  11. ^ 26 U.S.C. § 6201 through 26 U.S.C. § 6203.
  12. ^ See 26 U.S.C. § 6321 and 26 U.S.C. § 6322.
  13. ^ See 26 U.S.C. § 7463.

The Internal Revenue Code (or IRC) (more formally, the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended) is the main body of domestic statutory tax law of the United States organized topically, including laws covering the income tax (see Income tax in the United States), payroll taxes, gift taxes, estate taxes... The Internal Revenue Code (or IRC) (more formally, the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended) is the main body of domestic statutory tax law of the United States organized topically, including laws covering the income tax (see Income tax in the United States), payroll taxes, gift taxes, estate taxes... // The United States Reports, the official reporter of the Supreme Court of the United States Case citation is the system used in common law countries such as the United States, England and Wales, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Australia and India to uniquely identify the location of past court... Year 1958 (MCMLVIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... // The United States Reports, the official reporter of the Supreme Court of the United States Case citation is the system used in common law countries such as the United States, England and Wales, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Australia and India to uniquely identify the location of past court... 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1960 calendar). ... The Internal Revenue Code (or IRC) (more formally, the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended) is the main body of domestic statutory tax law of the United States organized topically, including laws covering the income tax (see Income tax in the United States), payroll taxes, gift taxes, estate taxes... The Internal Revenue Code (or IRC) (more formally, the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended) is the main body of domestic statutory tax law of the United States organized topically, including laws covering the income tax (see Income tax in the United States), payroll taxes, gift taxes, estate taxes... The Internal Revenue Code (or IRC) (more formally, the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended) is the main body of domestic statutory tax law of the United States organized topically, including laws covering the income tax (see Income tax in the United States), payroll taxes, gift taxes, estate taxes... The Internal Revenue Code (or IRC) (more formally, the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended) is the main body of domestic statutory tax law of the United States organized topically, including laws covering the income tax (see Income tax in the United States), payroll taxes, gift taxes, estate taxes... The Internal Revenue Code (or IRC) (more formally, the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended) is the main body of domestic statutory tax law of the United States organized topically, including laws covering the income tax (see Income tax in the United States), payroll taxes, gift taxes, estate taxes... The Internal Revenue Code (or IRC) (more formally, the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended) is the main body of domestic statutory tax law of the United States organized topically, including laws covering the income tax (see Income tax in the United States), payroll taxes, gift taxes, estate taxes... The Internal Revenue Code (or IRC) (more formally, the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended) is the main body of domestic statutory tax law of the United States organized topically, including laws covering the income tax (see Income tax in the United States), payroll taxes, gift taxes, estate taxes... The Internal Revenue Code (or IRC) (more formally, the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended) is the main body of domestic statutory tax law of the United States organized topically, including laws covering the income tax (see Income tax in the United States), payroll taxes, gift taxes, estate taxes... The Internal Revenue Code (or IRC) (more formally, the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended) is the main body of domestic statutory tax law of the United States organized topically, including laws covering the income tax (see Income tax in the United States), payroll taxes, gift taxes, estate taxes... The Internal Revenue Code (or IRC) (more formally, the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended) is the main body of domestic statutory tax law of the United States organized topically, including laws covering the income tax (see Income tax in the United States), payroll taxes, gift taxes, estate taxes... The Internal Revenue Code (or IRC) (more formally, the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended) is the main body of domestic statutory tax law of the United States organized topically, including laws covering the income tax (see Income tax in the United States), payroll taxes, gift taxes, estate taxes... The Internal Revenue Code (or IRC) (more formally, the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended) is the main body of domestic statutory tax law of the United States organized topically, including laws covering the income tax (see Income tax in the United States), payroll taxes, gift taxes, estate taxes... The Internal Revenue Code (or IRC) (more formally, the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended) is the main body of domestic statutory tax law of the United States organized topically, including laws covering the income tax (see Income tax in the United States), payroll taxes, gift taxes, estate taxes... The Internal Revenue Code (or IRC) (more formally, the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended) is the main body of domestic statutory tax law of the United States organized topically, including laws covering the income tax (see Income tax in the United States), payroll taxes, gift taxes, estate taxes...

External links

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Constitutional law Federalism, Separation of powers, Civil rights, Legislative branch
Courts Federal Courts: Supreme Court, Courts of Appeals, District Court, Bankruptcy Court, Claims Court, Tax Court
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An applicant for admission to practice before the Court must establish to the satisfaction of the Court that the applicant is of good moral character and repute and is possessed of the requisite qualifications to represent others in the preparation and trial of cases.
The sponsor shall state fully and frankly the extent of the sponsor's acquaintance with the applicant, the sponsor's opinion of the moral character and repute of the applicant, and the sponsor's opinion of the qualifications of the applicant to practice before this Court.
The Court will notify each applicant, whose application is in order, of the time and place at which the applicant is to be present for examination, and the applicant must present that notice to the examiner as authority for taking such an examination.
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